This isn’t about doing what we want exactly. It’s about discerning what we want, which in and of itself is a feat. This is about being still, not as a pseudo-meditative practice, but by stepping away from the conveyor-belt of options whizzing past us, turning our hungry gaze from the people we envy and having a little “getting to know you” session with God. Getting to know Him, but also getting to know ourselves.
In Christendom, the thought of “wants” is generally considered abhorrent, the focus on self, sinful. But while a focus on what we want and how to attain it can evolve into a prideful, me-centric way of being, there is a balance and actually we find that knowing who we are is a necessary part of our relationship with God and essential for our peace.
For Our Relationship
Taking the time to know who we are helps our relationship with Christ healthy in a number of ways:
It usurps Satan’s tactics: One of Satan’s greatest tactics is to confuse, disorient, and distract. He loves when Christians get distracted. If he can’t have your soul, he will settle for your effectiveness and your focus. When we don’t know who we are or what we desire, it gives Satan a foot in the door.
It’s a part of surrender: If we don’t take the time to understand what we want and who we are, we cannot truly surrender what we want and who we are to Christ; we risk the growth of insidious desires working within us, unsuspectingly, slowly encasing our hearts in bitterness or becoming our masters.
It keeps our relationship with God honest: Our wants, and who we are matters to God. If we suppress those wants, if we suppress who we are, we come to God dishonest and His heart breaks that we hide part of ourselves from Him. The Christian walk is first and foremost a relationship, and that means honesty and open communication.
For our Peace
When we feel anxious, overswept, confused and frustrated because we can’t find our way, when we find ourselves staring down that conveyor belt of options (so many things we could do; so many things we could be!), unsure of what to choose, in those moments we have to know who we are, and the only way to know who we are is to go to the one who knows us best. And not just to rest in the knowledge that He knows us, but to ask Him who we are. Like the Psalmist in Psalm 139 we can go to God praising, “O Lord, you have searched me and you know me” and praying, “Search me and know me, O God”.